In response to a question concerning the anticipated role and function of the existing professional bodies in relation to the accreditation of Counsellors and Psychotherapists once statutory regulation is in place in 2018, Minister Simon Harris stated that: “…there is no formal role under the ACT for professional bodies in the regulation of the relevant professions….”
This is the strongest indication to date of the likely framework for the regulation of the professions and reaffirms the Minister’s commitment to independent regulation. The Minister did however indicate that stake holders may be consulted by the registration boards during the process. The Minister’s statement was in response to a further question prompted by an earlier one concerning the time frame for the introduction of registration of Counsellors and Psychotherapists. The Minister indicated the following:
- He will proceed with the designation of two distinct professions: Counsellor and Psychotherapist.
- Each will have its own register under one registration board
- Draft regulations to be submitted to the Houses during the forthcoming session
- On approval, appointment of a 13 member registration board
- Registration Board to be in place in early 2018
- Board to draft various bye-laws to allow it to establish its registers.
The ball is definitely rolling. We can all now look forward to a bright future, for counselling and psychotherapy, within the Health and Social Care Professions. There will, no doubt, be further challenges along the way but it’s hard not to be optimistic and excited, in equal measures, about the future of our profession and the impact it can have on mental health services in this country. 🙂
Transcript of Parliamentary Questions
1077. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health the timeframe for the introduction of statutory registration for counselling and psychotherapy services under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005. [37780/17]
Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): “I recently concluded a public consultation on my proposal to regulate counsellors generally under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005. On foot of the consultation process, I have decided to proceed with the designation of two distinct professions under the Act, that of counsellor and psychotherapist. Each will have its own register under one registration board. This decision has been communicated to the Health and Social Care Professionals Council, the relevant professional bodies and all the respondents to the public consultation process.
I expect that the draft regulations to designate the professions and to establish the registration board will be ready for submission to the Houses of the Oireachtas for their approval during the forthcoming session. Subject to the approval of the Houses, the next step will be the appointment of the 13 members of the registration board following the submission of suitable candidates for my consideration by the Public Appointments Service. I hope that the registration board will be in a position early in the New Year to begin the task of drafting the various bye-laws to allow it to establish its registers.”
Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 1077 of 11 September 2017, the anticipated role and function of the existing professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy in relation to the accreditation of practitioners once the statutory registration board has been put in place in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41300/17]
Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): While there is no formal role under the Act for professional bodies in the regulation of the relevant professions, stakeholders, including such bodies, are often consulted by the registration boards and the Health and Social Professionals Council on relevant issues.